Metal Trades Department Welcomes New West Coast General Representative Benjamin Heurung

Ben Heurung

In October, the Metal Trades Department welcomed its new West Coast General Representative Benjamin Heurung.

Ben hails from Portland, Oregon, and is a second generation Boilermaker.

Ben began his career as an apprentice with International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 104. Just prior to accepting the position with the Metal Trades, Ben had been elected president of the Local. Ben also served as Assistant Business Manager for Local 104 and Trustee of the Portland MTC before taking the position with the Department.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben to the Metal Trades Department staff. He brings a strong union background to the position and will be an asset to our Councils,” said Metal Trades Department President James Hart.

In Memoriam

Vincent J. Giblin

The Metal Trades Department joins the tens of thousands of union members around the country in mourning the loss of retired IUOE General President Vincent J. Giblin and retired SMART General President Joseph Nigro.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends.

Vincent J. Giblin

Vincent J. Giblin, who retired from a long career with IUOE as general president, passed away Monday, October 15, 2018.

Born in East Orange, N.J., to John and Theresa Giblin, Vincent began his career with the International Union of Operating Engineers as a stationary engineer in 1964 for Local 68 in New Jersey. He was elected business manager for Local 68 in 1975 and held that position until 2004. He was elected to serve as an international vice president in 1989, a position he held until his election as general secretary-treasurer. He served as president of the Northeast States Conference of Operating Engineers and chaired the IUOE Stationary Committee. Vincent went on to be the general president of the IUOE in 2005, a position he held until his retirement in 2012.

Outside of the IUOE, he served as chairman of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and chairman and board member of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

Devoted husband of Patricia Giblin, he was the loving father of Vincent Giblin and his wife, Paula, Denise Costanza and her husband, Joseph, and Dennis Giblin and his wife, Stephanie; cherished grandfather of Audrey, Brianna, Cameron, Isabella, Annabelle, and Brooks.

Joseph J. Nigro Sr.

Joseph J. Nigro, Sr.

Joseph J. Nigro Sr. passed away in Florida on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at age 68. A Quincy, MA, native, he had lived in Pembroke, and Washington, DC, before retiring to Beverly Hills, Fla.

Joe retired as general president of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) in 2015.

Always a persistent advocate for the Union’s membership throughout his long and successful career in the labor movement, he started out as an apprentice in the Sheet Metal Workers Local 17, Boston, in 1969 and worked up through the union ranks serving as trustee, vice president, president, business agent, and business manager in Local 17 until 1999. Moving to Washington, DC, he served as assistant to the general president at the Sheet Metal Workers International Association until 2006, general secretary treasurer until 2011 and as general president.

After serving on the Finance, Organizing, Industrial Union Council, Pharmaceutical Benefits Management and Article XX Appeals committees of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, Joe and Mike Futhey, former president of the United Transportation Union, formed a historic merger between the United Transportation Union and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association into SMART in 2011.

Joe was active in labor-management relations National Joint Adjustment Board; a trustee of the International Training Institute National Joint Apprentice Training Committee; a member of the joint executive committee SMWIA/SMACNA; a member of the labor committee Standard Form Union Agreement; former vice president for Massachusetts AFL-CIO; member of the Executive Council Metal Trades Department; and a member of the Executive Board Union Label & Services Trades department.

In a letter to the locals and membership upon his retirement, he stated, “I have committed my heart and mind to accomplishing the goals we have set, but my health has taken me in a direction I did not anticipate. Unfortunately, I have been unable to recover to a level I expect of myself as your General President—the level of effort the members deserve.” A fitting response from Joe, who always gave the membership 100% of what he believed they deserved.

Joe’s outward facing personality complemented a humble, self-deprecating nature that led him to focus on “leading from the front”, which meant sharing the same burdens as everyone else. The beloved husband of Patricia E. (Vecchione) Nigro, Joe was the loving father of Tina Marie E. (Nigro) Lowe and her husband Todd C. Lowe of Indian Trail, N.C., and the late Joseph J. Nigro Jr.; dear grandfather of Devin J. Mulkeen of Indian Trail, N.C.; beloved brother John Nigro of Quincy, Marsha Golden of Quincy, Robert Nigro of Weymouth and Deborah A. Anderson of Braintree and the late Jeanne Marie Keefe and Barbara Gorman; and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He will always be remembered as the “Members General President,” A title he richly deserved and cherished.